Historic Markers Across Florida

1940 Publix Super Market

Marker ID: PCHC 020
Location: 97 W Central Ave, Winter Haven, FL
County: Polk
Coordinates: N 28° 1.331    W 081° 43.72
  28.02218333    -81.72866666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMXC4V


Publix Super Market

George W. Jenkins opened the first Publix Food Store in Winter Haven in 1930. Five years later, he opened a second location in town. He closed these first two stores to open his dream store, the first Publix Super market, on this site, Nov. 8, 1940. Jenkins combined the most advanced elements of U.S. food retailing with his own ideas to create a supermarket unlike any before. It featured air conditioning, fluorescent lighting and frozen food cases. The interior decor of pastel colors, beautiful terrazzo tile and soft music created a pleasant atmosphere for shoppers. The store's crowning glory was its electric-eye door, an amenity that exceeded the innovation of what any retail food company was offering at the time. It was called a "food palace' of marble, glass and stucco. Publix operated here until 1957, when it was replaced by a new store in Winter Haven.

PCHC-020. A Polk County Heritage Site
Sponsored by
The Polk County Historical Commission
Publix Super Markets, Inc.
St. Matthew Catholic Church.